Breed Type: Spaniel
Country of Origin: England
Also known as: Field
Male Height: 43-46 cm Weight: 18-25 kg
Female Height: 43-46 cm Weight: 18-25 kg
Exercise Requirements: Medium
Care Requirements: Medium
Lifespan: 10-12 Years
Best Suited as: Family Pet
The Field Spaniel is a rare, medium-sized spaniel that makes a wonderful pet for the right family. They were bred to be English show dogs unlike their Spaniel cousins, and have nearly become extinct. They are currently registered with The Kennel Club as a Vulnerable Native Breed.
The Field Spaniel is often compared to its cousins the English Cocker Spaniel and the English Springer Spaniel. The Field Spaniel has a single coat that is long and silky. They have feathering on the back of their legs, chest, stomach and ears. Their shiny coat colors are most often solid colors of black, liver, or roan with tan points and white markings on their throats and their chest. The Field Spaniel’s coat can be either wavy or straight.
In terms of size, Field Spaniels rank in the middle of the English Cocker Spaniel and the English Springer Spaniel. The Field Spaniel is bigger boned and longer with an athletic build. Their tail is set low and is either docked or left natural (in some countries docking is illegal). The Field Spaniel exhibits an intelligent look through its brown or hazel eyes. They have long, floppy ears and a long muzzle. Their large nose is a shade brown to black, depending on the coat color of the dog.
The Field Spaniel typically is a docile, sensitive, fun loving, easy-going, charming, independent and intelligent breed with a strong devotion towards their master. They are also known for their level-headedness and perseverance.
At their worst, the Field Spaniel is easily bored and may become destructive if ignored. This is a dog that does best when it is given a specific role such as hunter or guard dog. They can make very loving pets but fun games and lots of attention should be given to this guy to keep him stimulated. They tend to be calmer than their cousin the Cocker Spaniel and easier to train. Due to their sensitivity, gentle but consistent discipline is best. The Field Spaniel makes a good guard dog, as they are somewhat reserved when meeting strangers.
Field Spaniels were first bred as show dogs in the late nineteenth century. All black Spaniels were rare and it was the hope of some competitors that their new breed would be a success in the show ring. The handsome Field Spaniel became tremendously popular. Unfortunately, by 1900, the Field Spaniel breed, which had become excessively long started to go out of fashion in the show ring. These qualities, which had once been desirable, were no longer popular. Only a few dedicated breeders stood by the Field Spaniel, as breeds such as the Cocker Spaniel stole the spotlight. The remaining Field Spaniel breeders tried to recreate the breed’s body, while preserving their distinguished head. In 1909, when the Basset Hound was introduced into the mix, various genetic health issues came about. The English Springer Spaniel was introduced to successfully make the breed healthier. Even though they were successful in reestablishing the quality of the breed, their efforts unfortunately did not win back the popularity for the breed partly because other breeds had by then captured the public’s fancy, and because of the advent of the World Wars.
Most of the modern breed can be traced to four dogs from the 1950’s. These are Colombina of Teffont, Elmbury Morwena of Rhiwlas, Gormac Teal, and Ronayne Regal. The Field Spaniel remains a rare breed, even in the United Kingdom. In 2009, there were less than one hundred dogs registered with The Kennel Club. In order to promote the breed, the Field Spaniel has been recognized as a Vulnerable Native Breed by The Kennel Club.
Care and Grooming
The Field Spaniel is fairly low maintenance in the grooming department. They shed to some degree but are not huge shedders. Their medium-length coat makes grooming easy, requiring only weekly brushing and occasional trimming. Their fur does attract debris and can mat, so this ritual is an important one for keeping your Field Spaniel looking his best. Their ears also need regular cleaning and their toenails and the hair between their paw pads should be clipped regularly. A bath is only needed when they appear to be dirty or they give off a bad odor. If you plan to show your Field Spaniels more grooming is required. The Field Spaniel, although bred to be a beauty queen, still requires daily walks, and loves romps outdoors.
Overall, Field Spaniels as a breed enjoy very good health, but all breeds of dogs have some predisposed health issues. These include hip dysplasia, cataracts, retinal dysplasia, and retinal atrophy. Field Spaniels most often die of cancer and old age.
Suitability as a Pet
Field Spaniels often make good family dogs and are patient with children. They are good with other dogs and other animals but tend not to like super rough play. They do best when they require some sort of purpose to prevent them from becoming bored and destructive. Some families opt for agility training to keep their Field Spaniel happy.
Training your Field Spaniel should be fairly easy. Consistency and an interesting regiment are important because they become bored with repetitive commands. If they get a sense that their trainer is passive or weak they can be stubborn and temperamental. While the Field Spaniel can be loving towards all family members, they have a tendency to pick one family member over another and be most loyal with the chosen one. Field Spaniels love to be a part of the family and they are not dogs to be kenneled. While they can live in an apartment if given plenty of exercise, it is best for this dog to have a yard to play and run in whenever they want. A yard should be full fenced, though, as Field Spaniels like to roam.
Field Spaniel Organisations in Australia
Rarer Gundog Spaniel Club of Victoria Inc
Field Spaniel Organisations in the UK
Field Spaniel Society (FSS)
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